Samantha Bee explains what's at stake in this week's Pentagon rape reform bill vote

Sam Bee argues for reforms to military rape procedures
(Image credit: Full Frontal)

Later this week, the Senate will vote on the National Defense Authorization Act. "That's when America takes all the money and gives it to the military," Samantha Bee said on Monday's Full Frontal, "so they can spend it defending our freedoms, building planes that don't work, and apparently... raping each other?" Rape is a big problem in the military, not only because it happens but because the code of military justice puts a unit's commander in charge of deciding whether an alleged rapist is prosecuted, a situation rife with conflicts of interest.

"So commanders can't indict a rapist without indicting themselves," Bee said. "Gee, Pentagon, if you want to put your troops in an unwinnable situation, just send them back to Iraq." For three years, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has tried to push through her Military Justice Improvement Act, which would put rape prosecution in the hands of military lawyers, not unit commanders, and the Senate has another crack at the bill this week. "But despite bipartisan support from a majority of senators, including both party leaders, the bill keeps falling short of a filibuster-proof 60 votes," Bee said, "possibly because the Pentagon has been feeding Congress a K-ration of bullshit."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.